The Sacred Art of Raúl Berzosa

Holy Name of Mary painting

My favorite living oil on canvas painter is Raúl Berzosa, a Spanish-born artist from Málaga, Spain. His works are many and prolific, seen in various churches and chapels round the world, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, England, and the United States. A sample of his works can be seen here.  His official website can be seen here

I first saw in person works by Berzosa in the magnificent new chapel at Tampa Jesuit in Florida. His paintings can also be seen at other locations in Florida, including Holy Cross in Tampa and Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami. The artist was born in 1979 and began drawing at age thirteen. 

Berzosa's style is classical realism, a solid proof of his advanced expertise and capabilities. Most of his works are oil on canvas. The fame of his work has spread and has attracted the attention of the Vatican -- he has been received in audience by two popes and his paintings have graced Vatican stamps nine times. Below can be seen the Easter 2023 stamp with is painting of Christ and Peter after the Resurrection.

Perhaps Berzosa's most monumental work to date has been the interior of the Oratorio de la Hermandad de las Penas in his hometown of Málaga, Spain. This commission came from the Archconfraternity that has been entrusted with the care of the chapel. No small project, the painted ceiling alone covers 140 square meters and took months to complete. The final result is stunning - the artist completely transformed the white walls and completed a magnificent ceiling in the style of Michelangelo.  

May God continue to bless this incredible artist who has dedicated his life to sacred art and the transcendent dimension of beauty. The truth is beautiful and he helps showcase well beauty as an ontological category.  In an age when the art world has largely jettisoned the link between art and beauty, God has raised up a new generation of Catholic artists who observe the laws of sacred art and are ushering in a new Renaissance. 

Art of this caliber and beauty allows the Christian faithful to better contemplate the redemptive beauty of Christ and the mission of the Church. In the past, the splendor of divine glories have always been reflected in the works of art that the Faith has generated through the centuries. It is a consolation to see the tradition continue in such good hands. The power of beauty at the service of the Gospel is immense. Indeed, to quote Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's The Idiot (1869), "I believe the world will be saved by beauty." 

Easter 2023 Vatican stamp

Following are various examples of the artist's work, each a masterpiece in its own right, a display of color, light, and motion that reflects the best of the Baroque tradition. 

The artist's paintings in a golden retable at a church in Guatemala

The artist in his studio

 Theceiling by the artist in Málaga, Spain

Battle of Lepanto painting

The artist and his work in the Tampa Jesuit chapel

The artist finishing his "Mater Eucharistiae"

The Presentation in the Temple

The artist meets the pope.

The artist in his studio.

A ceiling fresco by the artist at the Oratorio de la Hermandad de las Penas

The artist also paints portraits

Detail of Holy Spirit taken from Pentecost image

The artist in his studio

The newborn Christ

The artist working on his altarpiece for a church in Guatemala

The artist's works at Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami

A painting by the artist in Seville of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas at Iglesia de la Magdalena

A painting by the artist, "Divine Motherhood" 

The artist in his studio

The artist's painting at a church in Azores, Portugal

Chapel transformed by the artist in Málaga, Spain

The artist working in the manner of Michelangelo


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